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  • Re: Mountain cabin off-grid

    Horsefly said:
    It's been a while since I posted about my project. Now that it is up and running, I thought I should post a follow-up. Here's the electronics, in the basement of our cabin:

    And here's the PV array ground mount:

    The first day we hooked it up the batteries (which we had been using prior to the PV hookup with periodic generator charging) didn't get to float until after noon. For the next several days until I left the cabin, the wife and I did what we could to challenge the system. We took showers at night (causing the well pump to run), warmed dinner in the microwave, she used a curing iron, and we enjoyed lights and cell phone charging, and laptop usage at will. Still, the system returned to float by 11:00am pretty much every day for the 3 days we were there. Oh, and it was raining off and on for two of those days!

    I owe a TON of thanks to the people on this forum. You guys are kind, helpful, and smart. Thank you so much for educating me over the past 8 months. We're very pleased (so far) with what we ended up with. 

    EDIT - Credit where credit is due: The major electronics (inverter, charge controller, and Midnite E-Panel) and lots of the little things (battery cables, etc) were purchased from NAWS, the forum sponsor. Great prices and great support to my questions. The PV panels and some of the other stuff I found here in Colorado so I could avoid freight costs.
    Wow...........I am simply amazed! Congrats! It's as if an EE built it or something!

    I'd say the panel configuration is ~99% safe. Looks like ~45%? Perfect I think.

    Wind speed does increase significantly as one gets away from the ground. This is why wind generators tend to sit so high. The threat is winds from the north and those are the strongest winds, by far, as a rule. Perhaps a cable going to the closest aspen tree?

    I wouldn't mention wind threat but last December the wind came out of the north at over 100mph. Even breaking the 1/4" bolt that held a small security camera. Lots of other damage of course. C. Springs also realized wind speeds over 100mph. Perhaps you are in a sedate wind zone as you alluded to...

    I frequently get trojan agents while writing around here. Odd.

    Solray would have done 48 volts. Gee whiz.

  • Re: Higher efficiency means more energy?

    Adding on to the good info...When one starts tracking an array,  the size of the panel (or efficiency) can allow more power from a spec that limits square footage for wind and snow load aloft. A 6" pole can hold 125 sq ft and an 8 inch about 250. For this reason the better panels are used to get the most power out of the array. The better panels also have a better product warranty. Panasonic just lengthened theirs to 25 years from 12.

    I had a client who had a Panasonic fail at 10 years. I sent it back and their FA showed it was over torqued at the mounting. They gave him a new panel and they did not have to. He was lucky as most of the panels had over two times the torque spec. He bought a torque wrench and bought me dinner.

    The better panels also do much better at high temperature. The Sunpower and Panasonic are amazing and having 3 identical arrays here I can do testing on panels. I get some very nice offers occasionally. I have not tested the LG panels yet but I have sent them a letter telling them my shipping address :)
    And yet you still talk to us?
  • Re: New Battery Technologies, New/Unfamiliar Dangers?

    Finding myself reading more reasons to let other adventurers be the guinea pig for newer technology. If I had limitations on space or weight (or some other lithium friendly challenge), I might try lithium. Otherwise, it seems like lead acid still offers the best value in a solar bank.

    Costco offers a lithium power supply that *seems* to weigh less than 12 pounds and costs $1000. Wondering about the sales of that.

    Being a bit fascinated by the cult of "suicides" among those with information regarding the Clinton's, it may appear that the presence of lithium batteries may offer convenient "suicide" methodology. It is unlikely that the local detective is going to be in his/her element regarding noxious lithium battery fires. By the way, the Clinton's feel very badly about Debbie Wasserman's upcoming suicide.
  • Re: Problems getting the new Schneider/Xantrex C-35 controller to work...

    I came across an Air Force employee evaluation form for my late father. I believe it was filled out in the early sixties though it could be late fifties....going from memory.

    One of the questions was real close to this: "Does employee have to read instruction manuals prior to assembly?" Back then, we were highly encouraged to "figure things out". Reading between the lines, only stupid people needed the directions.

    That has changed of course but many dinosaurs are left with the old "figure things out" mentality.

    He was a medical electrician by the way.
  • Re: Hemp batteries better than Lithium? Your thoughts?

    Did it tell you to get in on the ground floor of this stock that is sure to soar like Microsoft did?

    Fear and dreams.....a lot of what we are sold.